Saturday, September 26, 2009

Recipe for Grilled Halibut with Southwestern Rub and Tomatillo Salsa

Grilled Halibut with Southwestern Rub and Tomatillo SalsaI'm still in San Francisco, where today I'll be speaking on a panel at the BlogHer Food Blogging Conference about Food Blogging Best Practices. This grilled halibut is something I cooked last week using the Tomatillo Salsa with green chiles roasted on the grill, but you could also use the Southwestern Rub and idea of green salsa on fish with any other type of white fish. Halibut is something I haven't cooked much the last few years because it's expensive, but I decided to splurge when Costco had wild Alaskan halibut at a better price than I'd seen for a while (plus my 84 year-old dad had wistfully commented that he hadn't eaten halibut in a long time, and I wanted to make it for him!)

If you wanted to try this recipe with a less-expensive fish or don't have a grill, I'd recommend using the instructions for World's Easiest Roasted Tilapia. You can substitute the Southwestern Rub or just use any seasonings you have on hand for the fish. You could also make something very tasty by using the rub from this recipe with tomatillo salsa in a jar, so no worries if you don't have tomatillos to make the salsa!

I made a rub by combining small amounts of onion powder, garlic powder, cumin, ground ancho chile, Sumac, salt, and Szeged Fish Rub. Don't stress if you don't have every one of those ingredients, use what you have. (I lick my finger and taste the rub to make sure one ingredient doesn't overpower the others.)

Then rub each side of fish with olive oil, sprinkle with a generous amount of the rub, and spread it around with your fingers. (Use one hand for sprinkling and the other for rubbing so you can do both side of the fish without having to wash your hands!)

Fish with a curved surface is hard to get good grill marks, so start out with the grill on high and turn to medium-high as soon as you put the fish on. Even after doing that I wasn't thrilled with my grill marks, but it tasted great!

This is the Tomatillo Salsa with Roasted Green Chiles, Cilantro, and Lime that I served over the halibut, but you can use a commercial brand of tomatillo salsa as well.

Grilled Halibut with Southwestern Rub and Tomatillo Salsa
(Makes enough rub for 4-6 pieces of fish, recipe created by Kalyn)

4 pieces halibut or other white fish, or one per person (thawed if frozen and patted dry with paper towel)
olive oil for oiling fish and grill

Southwestern Rub Ingredients:
1/2 tsp. garlic powder (not garlic salt)
1/2 tsp. onion powder (not onion salt)
1/2 tsp. ground Cumin
1/2 tsp. ground Ancho chiles (or use any chile powder you like)
1/2 tsp. Sumac (optional, but great in this, Sumac tastes a bit like lemon so dried lemon peel might be a good substitute)
1/4 tsp. salt (I used fine grind sea salt)
1 tsp. Szeged Fish Rub (or use any brand of fish rub you have or some other type of all-purpose seasoning)

Tomatillo Salsa with Roasted Green Chile, Cilantro, and Lime for serving (Or use any type of salsa you like with this.)

Put a little olive oil on a paper towel and rub grill grate with it. Preheat grill to high (you can only hold your hand there for about a second at that heat.)

Combine rub ingredients in a small bowl and stir together. (I lick my finger and taste to be sure one ingredient doesn't overpower the others, especially if you're making any substitutions in my recipe.) Dry surface of fish with a paper towel, then one side at a time, rub fish with olive oil, sprinkle on generous amount of the rub (about 1/2 tsp.) and spread around on the surface of the fish. (Use one hand to rub and the other to sprinkle so you can do both sides.)

For fish that has a tendancy to stick to the grill, I oil the grill a second time with another oil-soaked paper towel right before I put the fish on. Do this carefully, since the grill is going to be very hot by now.

Put halibut on oiled grill (at an angle to grill grates if you're going for criss-cross grill marks.) Immediately lower heat to medium high. (For charcoal, heat grill to medium high to start.) Cook fish about 3 minutes, then check grill marks by lifting up one corner and rotating the fish 45 degrees when the first set of grill marks have appeared. Cook about 3 minutes more for second side of grill marks. Carefully turn fish and cook 4-5 minutes more on second side.

Be careful not to overcook fish on the grill. Most fish only needs about 10 minutes total cooking time (or less if it's a thin piece of fish.) I cooked this halibut exactly 10 minutes, and it was fairly thick. Fish should feel firm but not at all hard when it's done.

Serve halibut hot, with a few tablespoons of Tomatillo Salsa spooned over.

Printer Friendly Recipe

South Beach Suggestions:
Everything about this low-glycemic main dish is perfect for any phase of the South Beach Diet. (Tomatillos are technically a fruit, but like tomatoes, they are approved for any phase. This would taste great with Southwestern Bean Salad or Garbanzo Salad with Olives and Herbs.

More Ideas with Grilled Halibut:
(Recipes from other blogs may not always be South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Grilled Halibut with Garlic Cilantro Sauce from Kalyn's Kitchen
Grilled Halibut with Basil Vinaigrette from Kalyn's Kitchen
Grilled Halibut with Chimichurri from Je Mange de Ville
Grilled Halibut with Lemon-Caper Vinaigrette from Recipe Girl
Grilled Halibut with Korean BBQ Sauce from The Bite Me Kitchen
Grilled Halibut and Vegetables Provencal from A Hungry Bear
Grilled Halibut Marinated in Olive Oil, Sel Gris, and Herbs from Guilty Carnivore
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)
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  1. This looks so fresh and delicious! Have a blast in San Fran!!


  2. That looks delicious! I really must sneak halibut on our menu soon.

    Good luck at the conference today!

  3. I guess you made this dish "just for the halibut" :)

    Nice looking fish, Kalyn. Great tip about the oiled grill grates. You can get away without doing that for beef and pork. Sometimes even chicken. But with fish it is a definite MUST DO or you'll end up leaving half your fish behind.

  4. This looks fabulous. It is definitely my kind of dish - a simple fish with some spice to liven it up. Genius!

    Have fun at BlogHer and good luck with your talk.

  5. That looks so good! The rub sounds tasty and the salsa would make it nice and fresh!

  6. what a fresh,easy, delicious looking meal! The salsa sounds so tasty also. Bookmarked!

  7. Thanks Kaylyn that is great idea! That what we will have for lunch today, but I'm serving it instead of the Tomtillo Salsa with sauteed green beans and garlic mashed potatoes.
    I hope you are having Fun as well in SF and not only work!
    Enjoy the rest of your stay, and good luck!

  8. I am sure you're having a great time in SF right now. I wish I could be there too... :( I love the halibut. Looks delicious!

  9. This looks really really good. Great picture. Can't wait to read about your experiences in San Fran.
    Lea Ann

  10. What a wonderful recipe, Kalyn! I was already seduced by that salsa in your last post and am now very excited to try it with grilled halibut or tilapia.

  11. Wow - looks yummy! I just found your site but it looks like one I'll have to bookmark and come back to - what great recipes.

    I've given you a blog award. Please feel free to stop by my site and "pick" it up. Pass it on if you so desire!


  12. Going shopping right now for ingredients. Looks delicious and I am eating fish twice a week.
    Can't wait to hear all about the Conference.

  13. carole with an "e" in NYCSeptember 27, 2009 at 10:04 PM

    Thanks Kalyn. Another recipe to add to my list where I can use my newly purchased sumac. I love halibut and shamefully pay the dear price for it now that I see it coming back into the market after a long absence here in NYC. Thanks and enjoy SF, another terrific city.

  14. This halibut recipe is absolutely gorgeous! I really admire what you've done w/ your site, and it was so exciting to meet you at BlogHerFood. Wish we would have had more time to chat & visit. I guess there will be more events where we can do that.

  15. Hello Kalyn! I'm new here! Thanks for the referral for my Halibut. You've got an amazing website here. I can't wait to check it out. :)

  16. HOw did I miss this one? Halibut never looked yummier! ON my weekend list!


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